The 10-Minute International Librarian #61: Think of the last time you attracted a non-user

 As part of libraries’ mission to serve every member of their communities, a key question is how to bring in new users.

Among those who do not currently regularly visit library buildings or websites, there may be some – or many even – who are missing out on opportunities that could help them.

To address this, we need to be able to identify what is holding them back from using libraries, and how to overcome any barriers that might exist.

What works in helping them to understand how coming to the library – or its website – can benefit them? What assumptions or concerns need to be tackled?

This is also helpful in advocacy, when you may well also be trying to convince people who do not use our institutions – or have not done so for many years – of why they are so important.

So for our 61st 10-Minute International Librarian exercise, think of the last time you attracted a non-user.

How did they find out about the library?

What had prevented them from using the library before, and what made them change their mind?

Think about what lessons you can draw for wider efforts to engage non-users, including among decision-makers.

Share your stories in the comments box below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 3.3: Empower the field at the national and regional levels.

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box below.